If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely a local food enthusiast who places value on purchasing from local food businesses within your community. You shop at the farmers market, frequent local retailers, and buy directly from food and beverage producers. You make these choices for many reasons; not the least of which is how local purchasing ensures the businesses you frequent stay in business.
With your local food purchasing, you make the choice to invest in your community every time you shop. However, have you considered more formal community based investing? Traditional stock market investing puts capital into the hands of large, national or multi-national corporations that have little interest in the concerns of your community. Often, these companies invest in jobs out of state or overseas and profits don’t trickle down to your town.
Research suggests that small, locally owned businesses are the real drivers of community economic, social, and physical health. They keep money circulating locally, provide a diversified local tax base, and give neighborhoods and towns their character and unique appeal. Local businesses are also more committed to the communities they work in beyond simply turning a profit (who sponsors your child’s little league team?).
Despite the many benefits of small, locally owned businesses, large banks approve less than 20% of small business loan requests (stats are worse for women and minority owned busineses) and venture capitalist investment in small business is low. Additionally, until recently, investment law, and lack of education for investors and entrepreneurs, made it challenging to even consider local investing. Thankfully, laws have changed and a growing “locavest” (like locavore is to food) movement seeks to offer alternatives to traditional investing.
One member of this movement to keep dollars local, is Revalue – a values based investment advisory firm in Ypsilanti. To help Michiganders explore the possibility of community based investing, they host a series of education workshops around the state under the name Grubstake. If you’re interested in learning how to channel capital to small businesses in your community and exploring whether this fits into your financial plan, consider joining a Grubstake event near you.
Upcoming Grubstake Events
AUG. 15, 20019
AUG. 28, 2019
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
SEP. 04, 2019
SEP. 09, 2019
SEP. 12, 2019
Adrian Armory Events Center
SEP. 17, 2019
SEP. 24, 2019
Magnuson Franklin Square Inn
For more information, and to register, visit whatisgrubstake.com
Kelly Wilson, RDN, is the Director of Community Partners for Taste the Local Difference. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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